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Digital intervention relieves symptoms and improves QoL in IBS

Presented by
Ms Linda Weißer, HiDoc Technologies GmbH, Germany
UEGW 2023
A digital health application (DiGA) reduced symptoms and improved quality-of-life (QoL) for participants with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in a randomised-controlled trial. According to the authors, this tool may benefit patients with IBS, reducing the need for intervention from a healthcare practitioner.

“Currently, most patients with IBS do not receive adequate treatment,” said Ms Linda Weißer (HiDoc Technologies GmbH, Germany) [1]. “Digital therapeutics may help close the healthcare gap by providing guided self-help for chronic conditions such as IBS.” The current study randomised 378 participants with IBS (80.7% of which were women) to a DiGA intervention or to a control intervention, which comprised a modified sham app. The DiGA intervention included an in-app symptom journal and a personalised treatment plan, with nutrition therapy and various psychotherapy modalities. The investigators used the IBS Severity Scoring System (IBS-SSS), the IBS-QOL questionnaire, the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment (WPAI)-IBS questionnaire, and the European Health Literacy Survey (HLS-EU-Q16) to assess the efficacy of the intervention.

After 12 weeks of intervention, participants who used DiGA significantly improved all the assessed efficacy outcomes, including symptom severity, QoL, work productivity impairment, activity impairment, and health literacy.

Ms Weißer added that 70.2% of the participants in the experimental arm had a clinically relevant improvement of symptoms, compared with 33.2% of the participants in the control group (OR 4.87; 95% CI 3.12–7.60; P<0.001). Also, 70.8% of the participants in the active intervention arm had a clinically meaningful improvement in QoL, compared with 19% of those in the control group (OR 10.70; 95% CI 6.55–17.49; P<0.001).

“The assessed DiGA intervention was largely effective in participants with IBS, improving situations from disease symptoms to work productivity, without interference from a healthcare practitioner,” concluded Ms Weißer.

    1. Weißer LM, et al. The effectiveness of an App-based digital therapeutic for irritable bowel syndrome: results of a randomised controlled trial. LB17, UEG Week 2023, 14–17 October, Copenhagen, Denmark.

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